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Libya 22, U.s. 17, Us 16, Benghazi 11, Tripoli 9, Don 7, Mohammed 7, Romney 7, Fbi 6, Washington 5, Obama 5, United States 4, America 4, New York 4, Purina 3, Mr. Romney 3, Benjamin Netanyahu 3, Gadhafi 3, Jill Dougherty 3, Clinton 3,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories  
   with a focus on global news, trends and destinations. New.  

    September 12, 2012
    3:00 - 4:00pm EDT  

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hello, everyone. i'm don lemon. outrage and shock felt throughout washington and diplomatic outposts around the world today after the u.s. ambassador to libya and three staffers were killed. now u.s. marines are speeding to benghazi where they will help secure the u.s. consulate where the attack occurred. jill dougherty joins us now. >> reporter: officials here at the state department are beginning to piece together the details, but this is what we know. we have been speaking to them all morning long. what they say is essentially you had three things going on. you had the basic demonstration by regular libyans, but then you had a very targeted attack on the attack in benghazi by these
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heavy heavily-armed militants. we understand there were a couple dozen of them. they were using rpgs. very serious attack. as they attack the consulate, it starts a fire. and that is where the story with the ambassador comes in. the ambassador, mr. stevens, had been in benghazi temporarily. he's normally in the capital tripoli. also shawn smith, 10-year veteran, was also there on a temporary assignment. they were inside that consulate. fire breaks out. there are now three people along with one security person into a safe room. that safe room becomes filled with smoke and so at least ambassador stevens, perhaps other people, tried to get to the roof. and then at that point, we are told by one senior u.s. official
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that he is overcome by smoke, smoke inhalation and he later died. it's not clear precisely where he died or where his body was found. but mr. smith was found in that safe room. so it was a very complex situation. extremely dangerous. you had, again, outside the attack by the militants. inside they are trying to fight the fire. and it was really two fronts. >> thank you very much, jill dougherty. we appreciate that. president obama has this warning for those it responsible for the murders of american diplomats in libya, justice will be done. here's the president. >> acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this it great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. today we mourn for more americans who represent the very best of the united states of
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america. we will not waiver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act and make no mistake, justice will be done. >> as the story continues to unfold, we're getting in new information into what may have prompted attacks in egypt and libya and may have more to do with the anniversary of 9/11 than with a movie that insulted the muslim faith. looking at the consulate, that was after the mob attack. it was here that four americans lost their lives. you heard jill dougherty talking about how they died. among them, the u.s. ambassador to libya, christopher stevens. this was cairo, egypt last night as a mob attacked our embassy there. they tore down the american flag and shredded it. want to bring in senior international correspondent nick robertson. he's in london. what can you tell us about the people who were likely behind these attacks? >> reporter: we know the last
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attack on the consulate was on the 5th of june. chris stevens was there at the time as well. the notes left behind said that the attack was revenge for the killing of a seen r your al qaeda figure. they said he was killed in a drone attack. that was never confirmed, his killing, until yesterday when the head of al qaeda issued a video statement saying that he was dead on calling on libyan jihadist to attack and kill americans. late last year the head of al qaeda sent senior jihadists to set up training camps inside libya. thr aware of the training camps and aware of the people running those camps. so we don't know if al qaeda had a responsibility in this or the groups affiliated with them had a responsibility if this attack, but they are well known for operating in that region and
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seemed to have had a hand in the previous attack on the 5th of june. >> so nic, all of this begs the question, the libyan government too weak to deal with armed insurgents? >> absolutely. and government officials i talked to, they said we don't have a national police force, we don't have a national army. there are armed militias throughout the country. the government cannot unify them. isn't able to project their influence or power even outside the capital tripoli. they say they have left tribes in charge of the area around the al qaeda training camps. they were not able to shut them down. they did tell me back in june, even then, the united states was flying surveillance drone missions over and above those camps in the east of libya. >> nic robertson, thank you very much. this crisis was just unfolding
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when mitt romney released this statement. it's disgraceful that the obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged ate tacks. the campaign started drawing fire from democrats and republicans. dana bash joins us from capitol hill. dana, this is getting nasty, but the question is, what sort of political gain, if anything, is in it for the romney campaign to release such a statement so soon? >> reporter: that's a question that's actually being asked by some republicans, not just democrats. to be clear it's democrats who are jumping on this big time, don. because of the fact that they know that voters aren't necessarily going to vote on foreign policy, but they know this is a question of crisis and leadership and mitt romney is somebody with no foreign policy experience. that's why they jumped on it. i want you to listen what john kerry, the democratic chairman of the senate foreign relations
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committee, said. he used some explicit words. >> to make those kinds of statements before you even know the facts, before families have even been notified, before things have played out is really not just inexperienced, it's irresponsible, it's callous, it's reckless. and i think he ought to apologize. and i don't think he knows what he's talking about frankly. it's that simple. >> reporter: now to be clear, we should mention that john kerry also was the designated pit bull against mitt romney at the democratic convention, so he's not without political background and sort of thinking in his mind, but it's not just him. the democratic chairwoman of the intelligence e committee who tends to sort of step back from politics told me and our producer in the hallway a short while ago that she thinks that mitt romney did jump the gun by putting out that statement and he shouldn't have done that.
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never mind politics on the calendar. i talked to one of mitt romney's fellow republicans. he's actually the only sitting u.s. senator who served as an ambassador dan koets coats of indiana. talked about whether it was right of mitt romney to put out the statements as things were unfolding. he basically said he thought that both jumped the gun. listen to what he said. >> it's a plolitical statement. let's avoid the political statements right now. >> should that be true of mitt romney as well? >> i think we need to keep the political focus on the election separate from the possible implications of what goes to security and how to protect our citizens. >> reporter: basically what he said is that any kind of knee jerk reaction in his experience as a diplomat quick statement
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sometimes comes back to haunt you whether it's the embassy or a political figure like mitt romney. other republicans of stature like john mccain, he's simply not going there. he's a very staunch defender of mitt romney, but he is also who somebody who knew the people who were killed. he's decided i'm not going to answer those questions. we'll keep asking him. >> always boils down to politics. thank you, dana bash. appreciate it. much more on this developing story including the history behind these movies and cartoons that incite so much anger. plus the government is revealing the new number of americans who are hungry, homeless and without health insurance. there's a surprising number invol involving incomes of every american. very outspoken on the topic standing by to react, next. i bought the car because of its efficiency. i bought the car because i could eliminate gas from my budget. i don't spend money on gasoline.
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nearly one out of every six americans is living in poverty. more than 46 million people, that's according to to the census bureau. 60 million of them are children. the rate basically held steady last year after increasing for three straight years, but
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paychecks and family incomes are shrinking now. median household income dropped to $50,054. african-americans were hit hardest with incomes of $32,229. here they go now. professor cornel west, radio host tavis smiley join us from cleveland, ohio. of course, mr. west, an african-american studies expert who taught at yale, harvard and princeton. together they wrote a book called "the rich and the rest of us." the poverty business, whatever you want to call it, you guys just got back from a poverty tour. what does this poverty report tell you? >> it says that poverty is the new american norm. it says to us that poverty in america ought to be abnormal, but it is the new normal. when you take the job numbers
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last week and combine them with these poverty numbers today and then put on top of that the report from capital kids that the child hoot poverty rate in washington, d.c. is greater than it is in mexico, then you put on top of that the agriculture department report that tonight in our country, 50 million americans will go to bed without enough food, you can fill the state of california and illinois with with hungry americans tonight. it says that poverty is threatening our democracy and we have to get it on the agenda. i hope these issues are raised. we have to get poverty on the agenda for 2012. >> cornel west, what are you seeing in cleveland? i don't know if you remember when you guys were on, and i was in shock by people who were living in tents in so many cities who you visited and we profiled them here. what are you seeing there in
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cleveland? are you seeing anything changing? better, worse? >> the social misery is still here as it is in other parts of the country. what we are inspired by is the fight back. we have had dialogues with the janitors for justice and with the evergreen cooperative movement. we talked about our solidarity with the brothers and sisters in the teachers union with the fight in chicago. there's a fight back taking place in all different forms, all colors, all regions, and we are deeply empowered by it it. >> so listen, guys. the american economy is number one election issue. you knew i had to talk to you about politics. mr. romney accuses president obama of trying to dismantle the welfare to work system. the president says that mr. romney wants to weaken programs like medicaid, food stamps,
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programs that are vital for those striving to escape poverty. but is this the right thing? what should the candidates be focusing on in this fight against poverty. first to you, tavis. >> first of all, there should be called for an increase in the minimum wage. president obama ran on this issue four years ago. hard to imagine that four years ago he ran on a platform of eradicating poverty in this country. he ran four years on a platform of increasing the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour. they didn't get serious about this. the minimum wage ought to be increased. number two, they ought to be prioritizing women and children. there's a reason why women and children are falling faster into poverty than anybody else. they ought to be prioritizing the prison industrial complex and what michelle alexander calls the new jim crow.
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we in the media are guilty of covering the horse race that we never cover the real issues. we have had people on this tour, friends of mine in the media, said i'd love to get you on, but we have to cover the race between obama and romney. we don't have time to talk about an issue like poverty. >> who said what and all of that when the real issues are being ignored. it's in the middle of her book right now. it's an excellent book. so dr. west, i'm going to ask you the same thing. are candidates focusing on the right things? what should they be talking about in your estimation? >> i think they should be talking about jobs. they should be talking about justice as it relates to working and poor people, both parties tied to big money, tied to big
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banks, tie d to big corporation. we say barack obama, much better than mitt romney as it relates to poverty. but barack obama does not have a magnificent record as it relates to poverty. it's just better than mitt romney. mitt romney taking over the white house would be catastrophic but we're going to put pressure even on obama as he wins saying you're not doing enough for our precious children and working people. treat poor people the way you treat investment bankers. >> before we got into what you said, i wanted you to get those points out. but you talked about chicago, you said that the mayor there, mayor emanuel, you said he's mistreating our brothers and sisters. do you want to talk more about that? >> namely, that when it comes to their wages, when it comes to the various mendacious formulations and lies about them not having concern with children and when it comes to his defense
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of privatizing precious public educational systems. he must be opposed. it's a matter of justice and fairness. and i stand very, very deeply in solidarity with my teachers of all color in chicago. >> but this is what happens when you demon news collective bargains in places like wisconsin and indiana and around the country. this is what happens. and number two, i just had enough of teachers being demonized. teachers are undervalued. >> you do this. we have to go. we're out of time. we have other things to get on to. thank you very much. good luck on the tour. we'll have you back. >> thank you, don. >> stay strong, don. we'll have more on the unfolding situation in libya including how certain movies can launch a violent uproar across the middle east and threaten americans' interests overseas. . but only for a limited time!
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this is not the first time that mocking the islam prophet muhammad has led to violence. this cartoonist sparked protest and violence. kurt wester guard faced years of
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death threats and last year a muslim man was accused of attacking him. explain. so dan, you're the religion editor for cnn.com. what is it about the muslim faith that leads to these violent responses over muhammad's image? >> first of all, it's important to point out that sources say with regard to the attacks in benghazi that left the ambassador and three other american officials dead, that seems to be an attack perpetrated by extremists using protests over an antimohammed film to launch the attacks. it's important to understand the basis for these protests. . it goes back to the prophet mohammed himself who lived in the seventh century and warned followers against worshipping
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him. he was just a messenger. he didn't pretend to be divine. the point was to worship god. he was worried about idol worship, about muslims beginning to worship him instead of a la and that led to this. >> do these believes mean that muslims have no images or portrayals of mohammed? there's no way to depict him physically? >> like a lot of things with religion, it's complicated. in the 15th century this high point, there were all these attempts made to depict him, the prophet mohammed somewhat, but to leave out his face. in recent decades, there's been a popular film about ohio
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mohammed. one of the issues is that for a long time, we didn't really see nonmuslims attempting to portray mohammed. we have seen this in christianity, where for many decades hollywood has been depicting jesus sometimes offensively in films and others in art. but with globalization this is only beginning to be an issue with the muslim world right now. we're seeing a lot more friction, a lot more attempts by non-muslims. some are hostile to islam. so this kind of prohibition against depicting mohammed is being violated now. >> when these incidents happen, that plays into the stereotypes of the west that we all get tainted when mohammed's image is mocked. >> right. i think that both sides unfortunately become an emblem so from the american viewpoint, this attack in libya becomes
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emblemmatic of this world. and with this film, that's seen in parts of the muslim world is emblemmatic. and there are leaders on both sides saying, no, these are just extremists who are trying to gin up this sentiment against one another. but a lot of times those voices get drown out in polarized debates like this. >> to see more on how religion impacts the events of the day, check out cnn's belief blog. continuing coverage of our top story. four americans killed at the american consulate in benghazi. just ahead, we'll have a closer look at libya since the fall of the gadhafi regime. ♪ [ acoustic guitar: upbeat ]
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tidal wave of changes over the last year. moammar gadhafi ruled the nation for 42 years. here now a perspective on how libya has transformed from dictatorship to democracy. >> today the 20th of october, we are told that gadhafi is dead. the libyan freedom from terrorists has finally succeeded on throwing the curtain on gadhafi's crimes. ♪ >> translator: this revolution started peacefully, demanding the minimum of legitimate rights. but it was faced with violence and excessive violence so god
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has put to us what can help us to gain victory. >> the result is as follows. the resolution was unanimous. >> we are interested in respecting the will and also the national interests. we trust that the world would also appreciate. ♪
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♪ >> a free and stable libya is still in america's interest and security and we will not turn our back on that nor we will rest until those responsible for these attacks are found and brought to justice. >> while we focused on the major political events in the lives of libyans, we should also point out that there have been dozens of violent incidents including a
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minor explosion in benghazi in june. no one was hurt there. mitt romney is taking some heat for joining on the attack last night, even as the events in benghazi still were developing. he called the obama administration's handling of the attacks in benghazi and cairo disgraceful saying they seem to sympathize with the attackers. you may have seen it here. a top romney aid bristled at the suggestion that romney may have spoken too soon. >> it couldn't wait? >> well, let me again reiterate. the timeline you suggest was not the same that i just went through. >> i'm not asking about the timeline. it couldn't wait until all of the the information was found out about -- hang on. let me finish. you didn't answer. i gave you plenty of time when i asked the first time and you gave me three points. so you're saying it could not
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wait, yes or no? it couldn't wait? >> that's a silly question. >> it's not a silly question because now we're looking at -- you're having to backtrack now and talk about a statement. it's not a silly question. that's why you're here is to talk about that statement. >> i came here to talk about the failed policies in the middle east, which is what the american people are interested. the failed policies of leading from behind. what you want to do is play a process gotcha question. it was acceptable. it was right. did you hear me? it was fine. it was acceptable. it was right. >> i heard you, but that's not what i asked you. but we'll move on now. i want to read what some in your party are saying. a speech writer for ronald reagan said, i don't feel mr. romney has been doing himself any favors in the past few hours. sometimes when really bad things
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happen, when hot things happen, cool words or no words is the way to go. so she says your guy didn't do himself any favors for jumping out in front of this. what's your reaction? >> well, as someone who served as deputy chief of staff for ronald reagan at the white house and later as assistant in the white house, i think ronald reagan would have had no problem with governor romney speaking the truth and saying to the american people we shouldn't apologize for our values and we should stand up for what we believe and that the american people believe a substantive question and discussion about failed middle east policies of leading from behind. >> that was romney's senior foreign policy advisor richard williamson speaking with us last hour. now to the apparent rift between the u.s. and israel. secretary of state hillary clinton says there's no deadline against iran and its nuclear program. so where's the red line here
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when it comes to a possible military conflict? next. i'm an expert on softball. and tea parties. i'll have more awkward conversations than i'm equipped for because i'm raising two girls on my own. i'll worry about the economy more than a few times before they're grown. but it's for them, so i've found a way. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. massmutual. we'll help you get there.
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israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu wants president obama to pay more attention to iran and to iran's nuclear program. how about this comment from the prime minister? >> those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before israel. >> it seems plain to those who watch these things that benjamin netanyahu means president obama when he said saves, quote, those in the the international community who refuse to put red lines before iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before israel. his remark suggests he feels he's being desueded from washington from launching strikes against iran's nuclear program. the u.s. is saying stick now to economic sanctions.
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these are the words of secretary of state hillary clinton. she says we're convinced that we have more time to focus on these sanctions. we're not setting deadlines against iran. but here's benjamin netanyahu speaking about the sanctions just yesterday. >> so far, we can say with certainty that diplomacy and sanctions haven't worked. >> at least 289 factory workers are dead after a horrific fire broke out overnight in pakistan. the death toll could rise as firefighters are still searching through the rubbles for bodies. several workers jumped from upper floors. others were unable to escape the basement which filled with smoke. no word on the causeover the fire, but officials say there were no fire exits. one main door was locked and there were bars on some of the windows. a step towards easing the euro crisis. a german high court ruled in favor of the country's
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contribution to a rescue fund. the fund will provide loans to help stabilize financially-troubled countries. the german chancellor hailed the decision as a, quote, good day for europe. it was also met favorably by most global financial markets. an attack in libya kills four american es. sources say the attack was planned. an update from the region, after this. oh no, not a migraine now.
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more details coming in on the attack that killed four americans in libya. the attack in benghazi was planned in advance. u.s. marines are now racing to libya to help secure the consulate. president obama is promising justice. joemana karadsheh is in tripoli, libya, for us. this tension that erupted, do you feel it in tripoli? >> reporter: actually, no, don. i was out and about today in tripoli. life seems to be normal. people are hearing about what happened and most of the libyans that i have spoken to are outraged by what happened. they are condemning this attack saying it's not representative of the libyan people and their sentiments towards the united states and towards the west. they are saying that they are grateful for the role that the united states plays.
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many are familiar with ambassador stevens and the role e he played. people are really saddened by this attack. they are really shocked. it's also seen as a wake up call for the government here for authorities that have really not taken a strong stance. they have not taken action against these groups that we know are operating in eastern libya and that have carried out attacks in recent months against western interests in that eastern city. >> it's on their minds. people are talking about it. my question is as you're out and about, did you see any beefed up security in tripoli today? what about the u.s. embassy in tripoli today? >> well, the u.s. embassy to say the truth is not an easy place to find. it's outside the center of tripoli. i went there for a meeting a couple weeks ago and it was actually not an easy one to find. so i think it's a bit hard for them to actually find that embassy.
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but in terms of beefed up security, we're told by libyan officials that they are providing security for the foreign missions here. they are on alert and have been on alert for any possible attacks while the situation here in tripoli does look on the surface like it's relativity stable. there have been some explosions that take place from time to time. the security forces do have check points around the city at all times. i did not see anything out of the ordinary. >> joemana karadsheh, thank you very much. two months before the presidential election, we're giving you a look at the issues. a break down on the u.s. debt, $16 trillion and counting. how does the left and right plan to balance the budget? on every one of our cards there's a date.
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suspected bank robbers toss
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cash out of their get away car while police are on their tail. it's a high speed chase in southern california. four armed men robbed a bank this morning and cops chased them through the san fer nnando valley to pasadena and then downtown l.a. two suspects bailed out of the suv earlier. two others were still in the car when police caught them. balancing a budget, that's about $16 trillion in the red sounds about as much fun as getting a root canal. both presidential candidates -- i should say mitt romney and the president talk a lot about trimming the deficit, but do their numbers add up? ali velshi digging into the deficit reduction plans from mitt romney and president obama. >> reporter: just a few steps from the billboards of times square is a billboard of a different sort, the national debt clock. new york real estate developers
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seymour durs set up the first debt clock in 1989. >> when my father designed the clock, the debt was about $2 trillion. he would be shocked that we're at this number today. >> reporter: last year the federal government spent $3.6 trillion. but it only took in $2.3 trillion in revenue. it borrowed the shortfall $1.3 trillion. and that's the deficit. the accumulated deficits, or shortfalls plus interest, make up the national debt. and it's more than $16 trillion today. the debt had run up under both republican and democratic presidents and congresses. both have had opportunities to tackle it. but it is never politically palatable. president obama formed the simpson bowls commission headed by former republican senator alan simpson and bill clinton's chief of staff. they came up with a plan to cut the growing debt by $4 trillion
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over ten years. vice presidential candidate paul ryan was a member of that commission, but he and enough others voted against it so it never even got to congress. critics say president obama has all but ignored it. commission co-head says the growing debt poses a major threat to the u.s. economy. >> where is the tipping point? i don't know where it is. but when it comes, it's going to be so swift and so savage. >> reporter: the president says he still wants to raise an agreement based on simpson bowels, but the cuts aren't enough. proposes $360 billion in cuts to medicare, medicaid and other programs over the next decade. but because costs in those programs are rising fast, the debt would be $6.4 trillion higher in ten years. the president's budget also proposes cuts to discretionary and mandatory spending that
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would save $737 billion over a decade. military spending would be reduced, saving $487 billion. and unlike anything the gop proposes, there's a $1.5 trillion tax hike with the wealthy taking the biggest hit. mitt romney doesn't want tax hikes for the rich. so how will he deal with the debt? >> i will cut the deficit and get us on track to a balanced budget. >> reporter: romney's 59-point economic plan calls for reducing the federal workforce by 10%. like obama he also imposes entitlement reform and major spending cuts. but he hasn't detailed them yet. as for taxes, romney opposes cutting income tax rates by a fifth across the board, presumably balanced by closing loopholes, but, again no specifics. in short, neither candidate has proposed a plan that puts a serious dent in the u.s. debt. but douglas durst still holds
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out hope that one day he'll be able to retire his dad's debt clock. >> i'm an optimist. we would have a very big party. >> reporter: ali velshi, cnn, new york. attack in libya kills four americans including the u.s. ambassador. ahead, marines are headed to the region. and now the fbi is getting involved. 't go away. i was spotting, but i had already gone through menopause. these symptoms may be nothing... but they could be early warning signs of a gynecologic cancer, such as cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancer. feeling bloated for no reason. that's what i remember. seeing my doctor probably saved my life. warning signs are not the same for everyone. if you think something's wrong... see your doctor. ask about gynecologic cancer. and get the inside knowledge. until i got a job in the big apple. becoming a fulltime indoor cat wasn't easy for atti. but he had purina cat chow indoor. he absolutely loved it.
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us bank. as part of a heart healthy diet. that's true. ...but you still have to go to the gym. ♪ the one and only, cheerios want to get to some pictures coming in from washington. let's look now at the president and the secretary of state. the president and secretary of state visiting the state department right now. those are the photographs. the president signing a condolence book. and they're urging others at the state department to do so as well. they were standing in front of a memorial for those who had lost their lives overseas. you can see the president, secretary of state hillary clinton there as well visiting the state department today in light of this very ugly and very
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tragic situation. very tragic situation that happened in libya. the u.s. ambassador to libya, three others of course we're told were killed at that consulate. and now not only are u.s. marines headed to libya to help with security, we have learned that the fbi also getting involved now. crime and justice correspondent mr. joe johns joins me now. joe, just how involved are they going to get? >> well, don, the fbi has confirmed an investigation is underway. that's the first thing. federal law enforcement officials confirm that fbi agents from the new york field office are expecting to be deployed to investigate this case in benghazi. victims, for example, who were injured, key witnesses expected to be questioned, evidence of course analyzed and collected. this team sort of stands by there in new york city to go out to events like this. and the team in new york is the team that would go to africa, of which libya is a part, don. >> i have a question for you,
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joe. many would think that we'd have a number of people on the ground including the fbi. why doesn't the fbi already have a team on the ground? >> right. well, first of all, there are some offices for example in africa that might be sending people there right now. but as far as why the team from the united states hasn't left, that's anybody's guess. we do know there are some political questions that could factor into this. they have to ask the host government, libya in other words, for permission for fbi agents to go there and do their work. and the libyan government has to agree. so it's not yet clear what stage of that they're in. a couple of sources have told us this has been a fairly chaotic situation with the u.s. envoy dead, the embassy set on fire. by the way, libya also has a relatively new government. so a lot of reasons why the cogs could be moving slowly here, don. >> just a few seconds before we get to wolf blitzer. can you talk to us about the mood in washington today? we saw the somber pictures from the secretary of